P•P•O•W is pleased to present "Out of Silence", an exhibition of artworks with original text by David Wojnarowicz. The exhibition will be comprehensive in its inclusion of all works containing Wojnarowicz's own texts. A new video will be shown, produced by Ben Neil, utilizing sound and video footage from the multi-media performance ITSOFOMO (1989).
Having kept a journal since the age of 17, writing was for Wojnarowicz a mainstay of his creative output. Text emerges in Wojnarowicz's art soon after the text-based conceptualist practices of the 1970s, but as the expression of an outsider subject, often vociferous against government neglect and frequently filled with rage "like a blood filled egg." Simultaneously, a hopeful poeticism pervades. "Out of Silence" demonstrates that Wojnarowicz's juxtaposition and overlay of the two signifying systems, the visual and the linguistic, is central to his artistic development.
An important figure in New York's East Village art scene of the 1980s, Wojnarowicz is primarily known for his several volumes of fiction and memoirs, and for his art work in most media, including painting, photography, installation, sculpture, film and performance. After being diagnosed as HIV-positive in the late 1980s, Wojnarowicz engaged in widely publicized debates over medical research and funding, censorship in the arts and politically-sanctioned homophobia, creating deeply political art even as he became a target for the Right-wing.
David Wojnarowicz died of complications due to AIDS in 1992. He would have been 50 years old this year. His works are part of the collections of major museums internationally and are the subject of significant scholarly studies. Highly influential to the current generation of artists, writers and activists, his work continues to be curated into important exhibitions. His work has been the subject of two retrospectives, at the galleries of the Illinois State University in 1990 curated by Barry Blinderman, and at the New Museum in 1999 curated by Dan Cameron. Among his numerous books, published by Random House and Grove Press among others, his memoirs, "Close to the Knives" has recently been translated into French.
In addition to the exhibition and opening reception, P•P•O•W will host a free reading by established and emerging writers that count Wojnarowicz among their influences. The reading is co-sponsored by Poets House. It will be held on Thursday, November 11th at 7:00pm at P•P•O•W.